What Is Compound Butter? All Your Questions Answered Here

One of the questions we get most often is:

What is compound butter?

To answer that, let's break it down. The word ‘compound’ means “something composed of two or more separate elements; a mixture.” Epicurean Butter’s flavored butter is compound because we combine high-quality butter with other high-quality ingredients. We use all fresh or fresh frozen herbs and spices to create our butter flavors. 

Restaurant chefs often make their own compound butter to optimize flavors and save time. Why chop garlic and measure butter in the middle of a dinner rush when you can take a roll of pre-made garlic butter from the fridge when you need it? Many chefs even create compound butter with fish and meat like shrimp or bone marrow. Our goal at Epicurean Butter is to help make it easy for you to sauté, cook, bake, and finish at home just like a restaurant chef.

What is the difference between butter and compound butter?

Think of butter as the category name and compound butter as a sub-category or type of butter. That whipped honey butter or cinnamon butter that comes out to you with a fresh loaf of complimentary warm bread at your favorite steakhouse? Since it has two or more separate elements (butter and honey for example), it’s compound butter. The pat of garlic butter dropped right on top of your perfectly cooked steak that melts so perfectly between the kitchen and the moment it gets delivered to your table? Also compound butter. You get the idea.

What is compound butter made of?

Compound butter is commonly used in the French cooking technique, especially for creating sauces. The original French masters would bring butter to room temperature, add finely chopped herbs, roll the mixture tightly with paper, and then store it at a cold temperature. You can either refrigerate or freeze compound butter to keep it cold and fresh—you’ll find it's surprisingly easy to slice when frozen.

While our Roasted Garlic Herb Flavored Butter is a best seller, compound butter doesn’t start and stop at garlic or in the restaurant kitchen. Home cooks can take advantage of the time savings and gourmet tastes ranging from sweet, savory, tangy, and sour flavors. Anything goes with compound butter flavors.

How to use compound butter

Cooking with compound butter

At Epicurean Butter, we have a variety of sweet and savory flavors we know you’ll love. Compound butter can be used in many ways to make cooking easier and baking faster. 

Toss it in the pan when sautĂ©ing veggies, use it to create a buttery sauce, replace your regular baking butter to enhance flavors, elevate your traditional mac and cheese, or add something new to your stack of weekend morning pancakes. It can also be used to finish a dish—like our Black Truffle Flavored Butter on top of a steak—which is why the term ‘finishing butter’ is commonly used to describe compound butter, too. It’s a flexible ingredient that saves you time and steps in the kitchen.

Compound butter recipe ideas

If you’re interested in experimenting with compound butter and want to go beyond the butter flavors, we offer, here are a few compound butter recipe ideas to try.

    • Don’t waste produce. Combine butter with citrus fruit zests, scallion greens, or even carrot peelings. It can be hard to strike the right balance between citrus and herb, so we’ve made it easy for you with our Lemon Garlic Herb Flavored Butter that’s perfect for seafood and veggies. 
    • Is that butter or cream in your coffee? If you’ve adopted butter in your coffee, why not create a compound butter with agave or honey for the full coffee experience? Combining the two textures in a balanced way is key! Our Honey Flavored Butter is already perfectly portioned and ready for you.
    • Save those drippings. Make a compound butter with a little bacon or steak grease to put on top of baked potatoes or use as a base for a sauce. Want to cut back on all the extra fat that adds or really elevate your steak to the next level? Just try one of our truffle butter blends.
    • Clean out the spice cabinet. If you’re like us, your spice cabinet is overflowing. Put those herbs and spices to good use. Create your own spice blends and get creative with compound butter. Not sure what combo to use? We’ve got you covered with our Tuscan Herb Flavored Butter.

    Easier with Epicurean Butter

    The next time someone asks, "what is compound butter?" you can explain the crazy-versatile, no-fuss kitchen staple that makes everything taste better. Life in the kitchen just got a whole lot easier. You're welcome.


    Sign up for Epicurean Butter emails to get cooking tips, easy recipes, and information on where to find us in stores.

    Let's get social

    Tag us at @epicureanbutter on Instagram when you use our flavored butter for a chance to be featured. We love to see how Epicurean Butter helps make your life easier and your food tastier.